The Oshkosh Food Co-op campaign to open Northeast Wisconsin’s first community-owned grocery store in the city’s downtown successfully completed its $1.6 million capital drive. The campaign raised $1,615,830 from more than 600 member owners, businesses, organizations and other regional supporters.
The co-op will be located at the corner Jackson Street and Pearl Avenue in the planned BRIO Building. The co-op has leased 10,000 square feet of retail space from Merge Urban Development on the first floor of the building. Groundbreaking is anticipated later this year with an opening date in 2021.
“This marks a major milestone for this project and for our vision of stronger local economies, health and community,” said Brenda Haines, Oshkosh Food Co-op Board President. “The way this region has come together to support this project is very encouraging to us as we take the next steps toward making this store a reality.”
Started last November, the campaign was a blend of member-owner loans, a grassroots fundraising method common to food co-ops and charitable gifts, made possible through a partnership with the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. With the capital campaign complete, the co-op will focus on securing other funding sources, including local, state and federal grants and a community loan.